The dissolution of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) drew wide acclaim on Sunday.
The excesses of some members of the unit, set up to tackle armed robbery and kidnapping, sparked nationwide protests and global outrage on social media with the #ENDSARS trending for several days.
The Inspector-General of Police Mohammed Adamu announced the dissolution of the controversial outfit during a briefing at the Force Headquarters in Abuja.
“The Federal Special Anti-Robbery Squad of the Nigeria Police Force otherwise known as SARS is hereby dissolved in all the 36 State Police Commands and the Federal Capital Territory,” he said.
Senate President Ahmad Lawan, House of Representatives Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila, Senate Chief Whip Orji Uzor Kalu, the All Progressives Congress (APC), the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), a former Lagos Commissioner of Police Fatai Owoseni, a former Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) Second Vice President Monday Ubani were among those who hailed the decision.
The IG said the decision follows “a review of the current developments, and in due cognisance of the wide and legitimately held concerns of well-meaning citizens on the existence and operations of SARS as a responsive and citizens-oriented police force”.
Adamu said the police stands dissolved across all formations, the 36 state commands and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
Officers and men currently serving in the unit are to be redeployed with immediate effect.
According to him, new policing arrangements to address armed robbery and other violent crimes will be announced in due course.
“As part of measures to prevent a re-occurrence of events that gave rise to the dissolution of SARS, a Citizens’ and Strategic Stakeholders’ Forum is being formed to regularly interface with Police leadership at all levels and advise on police activities as they affect the general public.